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Griever - Soul Searcher

Soul Searcher
by VR at 07 December 2016, 10:01 PM

A coastal resort town on the south coast of England and to the east of the Jurassic coast called Bournemouth is home to a brutal Metalcore band, GRIEVER. Not to be confused with the American Sludge/Hardcore band called GRIEVERS! The band played its first show in May of 2012, and have toured Europe and the UK extensively since then. The band released their debut EP, "Rebirthing", in 2013, and in the year 2015, they set about conquering Europe with a string of headlining gigs in the mainland, as well as the UK. The band have shared stage space with a host of accomplished Metal acts like ARCH ENEMY, UNEARTH, and SOILWORK, among others. The band has released their latest offering, "Soul Searcher", recorded at Innersound Studios, and it debuted at an impressive no.6 spot on the iTunes Metal charts. The album contains 6 tracks and clocks just over 25 minutes.

GRIEVER has performed to its largest ever audience in the year 2016, at the UK's biggest drug and alcohol free fest, Butserfest, which aims to a target audience aged 14-20. The band plans to continue to tour and perform, and have already lined up a host of dates in their native town and other cities in the UK.

The first track of the block, "Soul Searcher", starts off at a blistering pace and a brutal scream. A melodic guitar lead guides the song along with rasping, anguished lead vocals as company. As is the trend with the Metalcore genre, there are clean vocal choruses in the song, as well as furious double bass drum sounds.

"Malevolent" hits the ears just as soon the first song fades away and its has a Heavy Metal galloping riff in its beginning. As with the first song, the clean singing forms the chorus, which seems kinda hackneyed to me. There is no shortage of arpeggios in the chugging riff and ritualistic  "hey, hey " chanting in the background that is meant for the audience to sing along.

"Virulence" detonates into life with a simple and effective guitar riff, before angry vocals fill the ears. Clean vocals figure in this track as well, which is hard to fathom. Midway through the track is a short passage that is slow and has a Doom Metal quality to it. The latter half of the track, the band incorporates an organ piece that is quite a clever twist and it leads up to a flashy lead guitar melody before the song reaches its end.

"A Pure Heart" is the final track of the album and it is catchy headbang-able from the get go. The song contains a slow poignant organ bit in its middle before raging vocals join in. The last minute of the track is again a fading organ part that leads to the end of the album. The track was released exclusively by Metal Hammer and has been praised by critics and fans.

As I listened to the album, I had no doubt in my mind that the band is a bunch of competent and dedicated musicians. I am not a huge fan of the Metalcore genre, as I feel that the most bands sound too alike. One of my biggest worries about this particular album is that clean vocals are only ever used for the chorus part. Also, the fact that in parts, the band sounds too similar to other Metalcore acts; UNEARTH comes to mind. I also wonder whether Metalcore has had its day in the sun and its high time that newer bands break traditional approaches and forge new forays into this genre. And I hope this talented bunch is a part of that new wave.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Soul Searcher
2. Malevolent
3. Virulence
4. She is Death
5. Liberate
6. A Pure Heart
David Seymour - Vocals
Luke Davis - Vocal, Guitars
Johnny Halpin - Guitars
Duncan Callaghan - Bass
Lewis Littlefield - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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